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Show 1208: Keeping Kids Healthy in the Age of Coronavirus

How are parents and grandparents keeping kids healthy when they can't go to school or the playground? Dr. Alan Greene has suggestions for families, 4/18/20.
Show 1208: Keeping Kids Healthy in the Age of Coronavirus
Pediatrician Alan Greene, founder of DrGreene.com
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Keeping Kids Healthy in the Age of Coronavirus

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Schools are closed and kids are home so that they don’t catch COVID-19 and spread it to family members. Of course, parents don’t want their children to get sick, either. How are we keeping kids healthy in the age of coronavirus?

Why Are Children Less Likely to Become Very Ill?

Most infectious diseases, especially respiratory viruses such as influenza, are particularly dangerous to the very young as well as the very old. COVID-19 is different. Although older adults are at the greatest risk of dying from this infection, children seem to be much less likely to develop serious complications. Is that really true? Why would that be the case?

Certain conditions could make youngsters more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections. Which ones are they? How are parents keeping kids healthy?

What Drugs Hold Promise for Treating COVID-19?

There are no medicines approved for treating this coronavirus infections. However, there are a few that show promise in the test tube and are now being tried in patients. One is remdesivir, an injectable drug that was developed for earlier viral infections. Its chemical cousin EIDD-2801 is also being rushed to clinical trials. It has not yet undergone that type of testing, but it is in pill form. Consequently, it would be more convenient for patients isolated in their own homes.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine:

Two very old drugs used to treat malaria have gained a lot of attention lately. Dr. Greene offers his take on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. One of the ways these drugs might work against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is by helping zinc get into the cells. Zinc in the cell is critical for the cells to protect themselves.

Other Ways to Get Zinc into Cells:

Other approaches to keeping kids healthy could be much more practical than prescription medicines with potentially serious, if uncommon, side effects. Some natural compounds, particularly quercetin, green tea and Coenzyme Q10 can also activate the zinc gateways on cells. No one knows if any of these supplements will prove useful against COVID-19, but they are widely recognized as safe. So are vitamin C and vitamin D.

Keeping Kids Healthy While You’re Cooped Up at Home:

In the age of coronavirus, families are spending a lot more time together than they are accustomed to doing. Kids are missing school and their parents may be working from home. That’s a lot more challenging with bored kids underfoot! What can families do to cope with being cooped up? Should parents relax their restrictions on screen time?

Lessons Going Forward:

Telemedicine has come to play a huge role in ordinary patient care during the pandemic. It is much safer than having otherwise healthy patients come in to an office or clinic where they risk becoming infected. How will medicine change in the future as a result of this experience?

This Week’s Guest:

Pediatrician Alan Greene, MD is the founder of DrGreene.com, WhiteOut Now, and KidGlyphs. Dr. Greene is the co-founder of Bambini Furtuna, organic, food-based remedies for kids.

Dr. Greene also helped found the Society for Participatory Medicine and was the first president. He is the author of numerous books including award winning Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green. https://www.drgreene.com/

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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